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2013 Natural Areas Academy workshops and field trips

The following workshops and trainings are offered to members of the Natural Areas Academy. You will receive instructions on how to sign up for these programs once you become a registered member of the Natural Areas Academy.

Saturday, March 16, 1;00. – 3:30 p.m.

Natural Areas Academy Orientation

The entry point for all Natural Areas Academy participants is to attend an orientation session. Here you will learn more about the Natural Areas Academy, Cornell Plantations as a whole, our natural areas management practices, and the many ways in which you can learn and be involved.   This session is mandatory for all Natural Areas Academy Members. 

Location: Nevin Welcome Center in the Botanical Garden, Ten Eyck Room (second floor).

Saturday, March 23, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Plant Propagation Workshop

Learn how to successfully grow native plants from seed.  This
workshop will teach you techniques and provide step by step instructions
to grow native plants for use in habitat restorations and landscaping. Directed stewardship will take place on Thursday, May 30th from  4:30-6:30 pm.

Location: TBD
Instructor
: Krissy Boys

Saturday, March 30, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Monitoring

Cornell Plantations and the Department of Natural Resources will host a workshop aimed at training volunteers to identify and report new hemlock woolly adelgid infestations. This newly arrived invasive insect pest threatens hemlock trees and the biodiversity they support, causing a cascade of environmental changes for some amphibians, fish, invertebrates, birds, and plants in response to the increased light and warmer temperatures. The workshop will feature a presentation by Mark Whitmore on the adelgid’s biology and the threat it poses to local hemlock forests. Participants will visit Beebe Lake to observe hemlock woolly adelgids first-hand and gain experience in detection, monitoring, and reporting protocols. Participants will also have the opportunity to volunteer in the “Adopt-a-Hemlock” program to conduct surveys and report new infestations in local hemlock forests. Directed stewardship will take place after this workshop from 3 - 5 p.m. led by Zeb Srickland.

Location: Nevin Welcome Center
Instructor:
Mark Whitmore and Zeb Stickland

Saturday, April 13, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Regional Geology

The glacial history of the region has not only shaped our landscape but has also had a strong influence on other aspects of the ecology.  Dan Karig, emeritus Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, will briefly describe this glacial history in the Nevin Center before leading you to the Ringwood Wildflower Preserve, where you will be shown a number of intriguing glacial features such as kettle, kames, eskers and moraines.

Location: Nevin Welcome Center and Ringwood Ponds Natural Area
Instructor
: Dan Craig

Saturday, April 20, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Regional Soils

Building upon the geological history of our region, Jonathan Russell-Anelli, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, will briefly describe the three main properties of soils in the Nevin Center.  We will then journey over to the Mundy Wildflower Garden, where you will look at spatial distribution and variability of soil characteristics in the preserve.

Location: Nevin Welcome Center and Mundy Wildflower Garden
Instructor
: Jonathan Russell-Anelli

Saturday, April 27,  1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Reading the Landscape

Robert Wesley will lead this workshop to introduce concepts on natural history. In this guided field trip, you will learn how much information can be discovered about a tract of land by paying close attention to its plant species and forest features.

Location: TBD
Instructor
: Robert Wesley, staff botanist

Saturday, May 4, 10:00 a.m. – noon

The Natural Heritage of the Fall Creek Valley

Understanding natural history, the effects of past land use, and the principles of ecology and conservation are a foundation for natural areas management. Join Plantations staff for a guided field trip to the Fall Creek Natural Area to learn about these principles and more.
Directed stewardship follow this workshop from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Location: Plantations Plant Propagation Facility in the F. R. Newman Arboretumoff of Forest Home Drive
Instructor
: Jules Ginenthal

Wednesday, May 8, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Evening Wildflower Walk

Tour the woodland pathways and varied plant habitats of the Mundy Wildflower Garden. Spring is the season for experiencing delicate and ephemeral natives such as trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, bloodroot, and Solomon’s seal. These plants and many others native to the northeastern U.S., including several that are scarce and vulnerable to exploitation, are carefully managed in this natural area. 
 

Location: Mundy Wildflower Garden off of Caldwell Road
Instructor
: Krissy Boys

Saturday, May 18, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The South Hill Swamp Preserve and its Rarities

This unusual hilltop is the closest thing to a pine barrens in central
New York and has long been recognized as one of the most significant
sites in the county for rare plants.  We will talk about the unique
geology and ecology that make the site so special, and learn about some
of the fire-adapted plants and plant communities.  We will also tour the
Plantations Natural Areas holdings and see, among other things, the
locally rare maleberry, Lyonia ligustrina, and dwarf cherry, Prunus pumila var. susquehannae.  Directed stewardship will take place on Thursday May 23 from 4:30-6:30 pm. 

Location: South Hill Natural Area off of King Road
Instructor
: Robert Wesley

Wednesday, May 29,  6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Evening Wildflower Walk

Tour the woodland pathways and varied plant habitats of the Mundy Wildflower Garden. Spring is the season for experiencing delicate and ephemeral natives such as trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, bloodroot, and Solomon’s seal. These plants and many others native to the northeastern U.S., including several that are scarce and vulnerable to exploitation, are carefully managed in this natural area. 
 

Location: Mundy Wildflower Garden off of Caldwell Road
Instructor
: Krissy Boys

Saturday, June 1,  6:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M.

Conserving Birds in Landscapes Dominated by Humans

Join Cornell naturalist, Charlie Smith, for a morning in Plantations Arboretum to learn about landscape management practices that support bird conservation.  The field workshop will also focus on bird identification tips, using both visual field marks and songs.  Dress appropriately and bring binoculars and your favorite field guide to birds.     

Location: Parking area near the ponds at the F. R. Newman Arboretum
Instructor
: Charlie Smith

Thursday, June 13, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Herbaceous Invasive Species Identification and Control

The invasion of aggressive, non-native plant species is a growing problem in conservation, often leading to the displacement of rare and endangered native plants. In this workshop, we will cover the identification of many of the common herbaceous invasive species, and discuss various control methods. This outdoor workshop will provide the groundwork for hands-on management activities later in the year, and the identification expertise necessary for monitoring and reporting invasive species.
Directed stewardship will take placeon Saturday, June 15, 10:00 a.m. to noon, led by Zeb Strickland.

Location: TBD
Instructor
: Todd Bittner

Saturday, July 13, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Trail Maintenance

Natural Areas are popular
destinations for hiking and other recreational activities, but to
protect these sites from use, proper trail maintenance is essential. 
This hands-on workshop will cover the basics of assessing trail
conditions and how to do routine maintenance. It will also be the
springboard for volunteer group trail projects later in the year and for
conducting trail assessments as a preserve monitor. Please bring a lunch. Directed stewardship will take place during this workshop.

Location: TBD
Instructor
: Mike Roberts

Saturday, July 20, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Native Seed Collection

Native seed collection is a fundamental component for successful habitat restoration projects in natural areas, particularly those that require local genetic material or rare and threatened native plant species. This hands-on workshop will focus on seed collection techniques that can ensure successful propagation.  You will learn how to locate
the plants and their seeds, as well as techniques to properly collect, clean, store, and sow seeds.  Directed stewardship will follow this workshop from 11 a.m. - noon.

Location: Plantations' Horticulture Center off of Caldwell Road
Instructor
: Krissy Boys

Saturday, August 10, 10:00 a.m. – noon

Tools of the Trade

Knowledge of tools and how to use them is essential for natural areas managers.  Tools can make work easier and more fun when used properly.  This hands-on workshop will introduce some of the more common as well as a few uncommon tools used in natural areas management.  Participants will be instructed in the proper use and care of hand tools and are encouraged to bring in some of their favorite tools from home. Directed stewardship will follow this workshop from 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Location: TBD
Instructor
: Jules Ginenthal

Saturday, September 14, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Woody Invasive Species Identification and Control

The
invasion of aggressive, non-native plant species is a growing problem
in conservation, often leading to the displacement of rare and
endangered native plants. In this workshop, we will cover the
identification of many of the common woody invasive species, and discuss
various control methods. This in class and outdoor workshop will
provide the groundwork for hands-on management activities later in the
year, and the identification expertise necessary for monitoring and
reporting invasive species. Directed stewardship will take place following this workshop from Directed 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. led by Zeb Srickland. 

Location: TBD
Instructor
: Todd Bittner

Saturday, October 5,  10:00 a.m. – noon

Rain Gardens

What
can you do to help our streams?  You can create a rain garden- a
shallow, vegetated depression that collects, absorbs, cools, and filters
the stormwater runoff before it reaches our waters.  Stormwater from
impermeable surfaces is redirected through dry creek beds, vegetated
swales, or drain pipes into beautiful rain gardens designed with native
plants, that once established require little to no maintenance.  Rain
gardens are an inexpensive, relatively simple way to do our part in
keeping our waters clean while simultaneously adding value and beauty to
our yards.

Location: Nevin Welcome Center in the Botanical Garden, Ten Eyck Room (second floor).
Instructor
: Nikki Cerra

Date and time TBD

Designing landscapes for Native Pollinators.  

Did you know that one of every three to four mouthfuls of food we eat and beverages we drink is delivered by pollinators?  Pollinators are not only important to our agricultural products but also are vital for healthy ecosystems.  Come to this workshop to learn about a few of our native pollinators, basic habitat needs for these pollinators, and how to apply these spatially in design.  In the stewardship piece, we will plant a pollinator garden. Directed stewardship will follow this workshop (date and time TBD).

Location: Nevin Welcome Center in the Botanical Garden, Ten Eyck Room (second floor).
Instructor
: Nikki Cerra

Saturday, November 16, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Bark! Learning to recognize trees by their bark.

Knowing trees by their bark is critical for land managers, particularly here in the Northeast where trees don’t have leaves for a large part of the year.  Bark is always present, and within the context of size, age and other conditions, it is highly diagnostic. This hands-on workshop will cover the basics of identifying trees by their bark, including color, texture, pattern, and the physiological process that gives rise to these traits.  The workshop will also cover fruit, twigs, branching patterns, and other gestalt characteristics to aid in species identification.

Location: TBD
Instructor
: Robert Wesley

Saturday, December 7, 1:00 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Designing for Habitat on your Property

Winter is the perfect time to plan for next year’s landscaping!  This workshop will take you through the steps of designing your landscape, including: site analysis, site design and creating a master plan focusing on diagrams, zone-design, and basic design concepts and details.  We will combine some of the ecological system knowledge you have gleaned through Natural Areas Academy with some landscape design basics to help you create native habitat in your own yard.  Bring your ecosystem knowledge and design ideas.   

Location: Nevin Welcome Center, Ten Eyck Room.
Instructor
: Nikki Cerra